I spent years in college dormitories during the 70’s. At the end that period, I was not actually in a dorm. Instead I was in a two bedroom apartment. To deal with the overflow, the college put us up in an apartment complex and bused us to campus. It did not take long before I saw my roommates taking advantage of the situation. After a pot party and waking up to find my roommate had a young woman in bed with him (two separated events), I decided to seek my own quarters. Why? I was not a Christian then, but I had been brought up as one. So that sort of behavior rankled. I liked my roommates, but I did not want to be forced to approve of blatantly bad behavior.
Could I have expressed my feelings back then? No. In fact, my thoughts were rather shallow.
- I knew having sex with someone other than my wife was wrong, but all I thought of was the possibility of pregnancy and disease. I did not yet understand the importance or the significance of the two becoming one.
- Smoking marijuana mostly struck me as foolish. It was not unusual to walk down a dorm hall and smell something that stank. Soon I figured out what that stink was, and then I had only one thought. People are inhaling that? I had watched what tobacco and alcohol had done to my father. So I wanted no part of a drug that combined the worst features of both, but I gave little thought of how such bad behavior might affect others.
Anyway, the focus here is on marijuana. So how did — how does — the use of an illegal drug effect others? Well, I understand some people see nothing wrong with using marijuana. Supposedly, inhaling that reeking stench only puts thrill seekers temporarily and slightly out of their minds. Nonetheless, marijuana remains illegal, and that means that in addition to setting a bad example for the gullible (like college students), when we use marijuana and other illegal drugs we fund criminal networks.
Purchasing illegal drugs is an immoral act, regardless of where one stands in the legalization debate. When drugs are legally prohibited, criminal organizations assume control of production and distribution, making violence inherent in the process. Drug proceeds are used to fund criminal and terrorist organizations, enabling them to murder innocent people, attack police and military, bleed our tax dollars, and destroy the rule of law.
Drugs are a major source of income for terrorist groups and other criminal organizations, due to the high profit margins in these illegal markets. For example, one kilogram of heroin costs $2,500-$5,000 in Afghanistan and it sells for $60,000-$90,000 in the United States. That same kilogram is worth approximately $1.5 million after is it diluted and divided into individual dosage units. Profits made from illegal drug sales are also unreported income, allowing unlawful enterprises to remain in the shadows.
There is a strong nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism. According to DEA’s FY2016 Performance Budget Congressional Submission, 22 of 59 designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations had possible ties to drug trafficking. This number is probably low, because evidence is difficult to obtain, and it doesn’t address two recently designated terrorist groups. As an example, Afghanistan produces most of the world’s opium, morphine, and heroin. In Afghanistan, drug producers, traffickers, and transporters have deep connections to the Taliban, Haqqani network, and other terrorist groups. Drug traffickers use terrorists for protection and terrorists use drug traffickers to fund their activities. (from here)